State health officials are advising against eating Dungeness and Rock crabs caught in Northern California waters after dangerous levels of domoic acid were detected.
Crabs caught between the Oregon border and the southern Santa Barbara County line are included in the health advisory, which the California Department of Public Health issued Tuesday.
Test results have reportedly revealed high levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin, in Dungeness and Rock crabs. Domoic acid poisoning in humans can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. Symptoms can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood, and typically disappear within several days.
In seafood, domoic acid accumulation is natural and occurs because of a “bloom” of a single-celled plant Pseudo-nitzschia. Officials cannot predict when the plant will bloom, or when the levels found in crab will decrease.